Joint UN Workshop in Support of Solomon Islands’ Graduation from the LDC Category

Thursday, 17 October 2019 - 8:00am to Friday, 18 October 2019 - 5:00pm

BACKGROUND

This was the second mission of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on LDC Graduation (IATF) and was led by OHRLLS, DESA, ESCAP and UNDP in close cooperation with the Government of Solomon Islands, the UN Resident Coordinator and the Country Team in Honiara. The UNCDF, OECD, Asian Development Bank and PIF Secretariat also participated in the mission.

Established in late 2017, the IATF on LDC Graduation is chaired by the Director of OHRLLS, Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox. It is a group of UN entities, which convene twice a year or more often as needed, with the goal to provide strengthened and coordinated UN system-wide support to the countries graduating from the LDC category.

The Joint UN Workshop in support of the graduation of Solomon Islands from the category of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) was held at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara on 17 and 18 October 2019. During the 2-day workshop, the IATF team provided a clear description of the impacts that graduation from the LDC category would have for the country. Several senior government representatives participated as panelists and engaged in the interactive discussions on the impacts of graduation on the economic and social progress of the country. Representatives from 18 UN and international and regional organizations attended and contributed. Over 50 participants attended, with majority coming from government ministries, as well as civil society and private sector.

The IATF chair commended the government for the specific actions that had already been undertaken in various areas in preparation of graduation. She noted that the workshop was only a starting point to launch a period of collective reflection about the future. The UN team would be ready to continue strengthening, in a better coordinated and effective manner, the kind of assistance the Government needed in turning its vision into reality. She highlighted some key elements that should inform the joint way forward. A first step was to establish a “consultative mechanism” to set up a concrete plan towards and beyond graduation, to bring together the main development and trading partners, facilitate the preparation of the transition strategy and integrate the strategy with the national development strategy and the UN Pacific Strategy.

The workshop was preceded, on 16 October 2019, by a meeting of the IATF and the Solomon Islands Government with civil society representatives to give them an opportunity for an interactive dialogue on the process of LDC graduation and its implications for the economy and people of the Solomon Islands. In the morning of 17 October 2019, the IATF and the Solomon Islands Government organized a breakfast with private sector representative.

 

DOCUMENTS

 

 

SUMMARY

The Supervising Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands opened the Workshop. Several senior government officers including from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (OPMC), Ministry of National Planning & Development Coordination (MNPDC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET), and Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) actively participated as panelists and engaged in the interactive discussions on the impacts of LDC graduation on the economic and social progress of the country. Representatives from over 15 UN agencies and other international, regional and sub-regional organizations attended and contributed. Over 50 participants attended the two-day workshop with the majority coming from government ministries, as well as civil society and private sector.

Experts presentations were made by members of the IATF to show the implications of graduation from the LDC category. Some LDC-specific support measures will be phased out, but the impact is expected to be overall relatively mild. On development finance, most of bilateral and multilateral donors have cooperation programs that would not be affected by graduation from the LDC category per se. Discussions also focused on the current economic and social challenges as well as environmental vulnerabilities facing the Solomon Islands. The government requested the IATF to assist in the formulation of a smooth transition strategy.

 

DOCUMENTS

Presentations:

OPENING SESSION:

 

SESSION 1: OVERVIEW OF LDC GRADUATION: COSTS, BENEFITS AND OPPORTUNITIES

 

SESSION 2: IMPROVED ASSISTANCE FOR GRADUATING COUNTRIES

 

SESSION 3: ACCESS TO FINANCE AND MOBILIZATION OF RESOURCES DURING SMOOTH TRANSITION

 

SESSION 4: TRADE, PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY BUILDING AND ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION FOR SUSTAINABLE GRADUATION

 

BREAK OUT GROUPS ON:

  • 1. Resource Mobilization

  • 2. Productive Capacity and Trade

  • 3. Institutional Set-Up for Graduation

 

SESSION 5: REDUCING VULNERABILITY AND ENHANCING RESILIENCE

 

SESSION 6: FORMULATING NATIONAL POLICIES AND STRATEGIES FOR A SMOOTH GRADUATION OF SOLOMON ISLANDS

 

CLOSING SESSION: CONCLUSION AND WAY FORWARD

Rapporteurs From Break-out Groups:

 

  • Dr. Jimmie Rodgers


Photo: Delivering solar panels to Kiu, Solomon IslandsHampus Eriksson/WorldFish

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